FEB. 27, WATKINS MILL HIGH SCHOOL-
The girls' basketball team finished the 2003/2004 regular season hot, winning its last three games and five out of its last six. As the tenth seed in the Montgomery 4A West playoffs, the Blazers needed an upset over the seventh seeded Wolverines. The Blazers were able to maintain their good play against Watkins Mill in the first round, crushing the 14-8 Wolverines by a score of 56-34, boosting the Blazers' record to 10-13.
In a rough, physical match Blair played a very textbook game, by not making mental mistakes, forcing shots or making ill-advised passes in a rough, physical game. In fact, Blair had only four first-half turnovers. The Blazers were able to overcome the physical nature of the game by shooting an impressive 40 percent from the field and playing good perimeter defense.
The Blazers opened up an early 12-3 lead which it was able to hold onto for the remainder of the game. They played quality first-quarter defense and gained control of the defensive boards early.
However in the second quarter the Wolverines began hitting their shots, cutting the Blazer lead to six at halftime, and by the middle of the third quarter tying the score for the only time in the game at 28. Fortunately sophomore Cate Rassman swished two consecutive three pointers to end the quarter, sparking a 28-6 Blazer run to end the game. The Blazers dominated every aspect of the game in the second half, yielding an easy win.
Rassman shot 7-13 for a game-high 20 points, including four of the Blazers five three-pointers while grabbing six rebounds and getting three steals. Junior Brittany Higgins played another solid game, going five-of-nine from the field for 15 points, while dishing out six assists and nabbing three steals. Senior Emily Ramsay added nine points and 10 rebounds. Junior Angela Hayes, senior Caroline Kuttner and sophomore Janay Walker were the only other Blair scorers, with four points apiece.
Rassman identified Blair's teamwork and defensive toughness as keys to the win. "Our defense was so intense that it really intimidated Watkins Mill. We recognized their strong players and made sure to block them out. We really worked as a team," she said.
The Blazers move on and face 19-2 Springbrook, the second seed in the Montgomery 4A West playoffs, on Mar. 1 at 6:00. The Blazers showed that they can run with the overmatched Devils, when they last played on Jan. 30; however the Blazers did lose by three, 51-48.
Coach William Lindsey is confident about his team's chances against Springbrook and believes that the Blazers need to keep the game competitive. "I expect a hard-fought, close game. We cannot allow Springbrook to get away from us," he said.
Zach Mellman. Zach Mellman was born on October 18, 1956 (he was held back once or twice). He has lived in Takoma Park, Maryland his entire life. He is currently a senior at Blair enrolled in honors classes. He is also a member of Blair's golf team, … More »